Daily Bulletin

House & Garden

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When you live in Perth, air conditioning isn’t a luxury, and as the warmer weather approaches, many homeowners are starting to consider their cooling options. Sadly, an AC system has a finite lifespan; this equipment works hard, and if the air conditioner is well maintained, it could last for up to 15 years. As the AC system ages, the frequency of repairs will increase, the chances of a breakdown are greater, and the performance will be compromised. Older air conditioners cost more to run, so it’s important to know the when to cut your losses and purchase a new system. Here are six signs that you need to look out for if you have an aging air conditioner.


The Wrong Air Temperature

During a typical summer in Perth, air conditioning will be set to a nice cool temperature to counteract the heat outside. But, if your AC system is blowing air that is cold or hot and it cannot seem to reach the temperature set on the thermostat, there is a problem. The airflow may be consistent, but the temperature simply isn’t appropriate, and although you can expect occasional gusts of different air temperatures, this should be an odd occurrence. If the air conditioning cannot produce cool air at all, it’s time to contact an HVAC specialist to investigate the problem. In many cases, this is caused by a lack of refrigerant, and in more extreme cases, the compressor could be damaged. If the HVAC system can only cool or heat in certain zones, this is also an indication that the system may be ready to be retired. In some cases, a thorough inspection followed by clearing airflow obstructions, changing air filters, and recharging the refrigerant may fix the problem.


Airflow Problems

If your AC system has a diminished level of airflow, there may be little to no treated air coming from the vents. This is often an indication that the compressor is starting to fail, and it cannot push the treated air throughout the home. If you have the thermostat set to a normal summer temperature and the home still feels warm, then the system is certainly not working to its optimal level. If you’re lucky, cleaning or replacing the air filters may fix the problem and restore the correct airflow. But if this doesn’t work, you need to come to terms with the fact that your AC system needs to be replaced.


Strange Odours and Odd Noises

If your air conditioner is making some odd noises and/or strange odours, this is a sure sign that there is a problem. Under normal operating conditions, an AC system should be virtually silent, and it certainly shouldn’t be the source of any strange odors. The occasional low level noise could indicate that some cleaning is required or a minor repair is needed. Louder noises such as banging, rattling, or grinding are likely to be caused by mechanical parts that have become loose and are grinding up against other components. The most common culprit is the fan that may need to be fixed or replaced entirely. Strange odors could indicate that the internal surfaces of the ductwork are mouldy and they need a thorough cleaning. Mould spores in the air are harmful to health, and it’s important to get rid of mould as soon as possible to improve the indoor air quality. If you can smell burning, this could be electrical damage, and it’s important to call out an HVAC specialist to investigate the problem further.


Water Leaks or Excessive Moisture

If you notice a small volume of moisture leaking from your outdoor unit, this is no cause for concern. But, the air conditioning system should be dry under normal operating conditions, and if you can see water leaks or puddles under your cooling equipment, this is not normal. If the air starts to feel clammy and most or you notice condensation in your home, this is an indication that the air conditioner is not working normally. Many people are unaware that their AC system also acts as a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the home as it treats the indoor air. This can be caused by a lack of refrigerant, and the system can be recharged safety by an HVAC technician. But, if your AC system is constantly springing leaks, it may be time to replace it with a new unit.


Short Cycling

This is when an air conditioner turns on and off in quick succession before or as it reaches the desired temperature. This is typically caused by an air conditioner that isn’t sized correctly for the home where it’s installed, and this can lead to a number of issues. Firstly, when an AC system is short cycling, it creates a great deal of extra stress on the equipment, and it will wear out quickly. Secondly, the AC system will struggle to reach the desired temperature, and it will be incredibly inefficient. It’s important to call out an HVAC specialist to check the system, and if you’re lucky, the problem will be a blown fuse. In some cases, this is a sign that the system is ready to be replaced with an AC system that’s better sized for the space.


Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bills are suddenly much higher than they should be, it’s a telltale sign that there is a major problem. The best way to confirm your fears is to contact a local HVAC specialist and ask about an Energy Audit. During the course of a day, the HVAC specialist will carry out an inspection of your HVAC equipment, the insulation levels, and many other factors that could be affecting your energy efficiency. In many cases, the culprit is an aging HVAC system that is being overworked because it cannot keep up with the demand for treated air in the home. This causes the unit to use more power than it should, and this is reflected in the increased energy costs.

If you live in Perth, air conditioning is essential, so contact Mouritz if you need a service or repair, or you need a new AC system for your home.

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